“Secret Florence” spreads

A free-entry showcase for the fashionable set

Mary Gray
June 9, 2017 - 13:10

Menswear showcase Pitti Uomo 92 is just around the corner, and with it will come the inevitable flocks of fashion buyers, Pretty Young Things and tastemakers in cropped trousers. How best to highlight the city’s contemporary side to the haute set? The organizers of cultural festival Estate Fiorentina have a few ideas.

With support from the City of Florence and Pitti Immagine, the Estate Fiorentina committee is set to launch the second edition of Secret Florence (June 10-16), a series of artistic initiatives aimed at a young, international audience, taking place during the week of Pitti Uomo, a moment when the city stands center stage in the fashion world. The project brings together institutions (Palazzo Strozzi, Museo Novecento, IED Firenze, Opera di Santa Croce); associations (experimental music organizers Tempo Reale and the contemporary art team at Le Murate); partner festivals (performing arts showcase Fabbrica Europa and film festival Lo Schermo dell’Arte); and underused urban spaces (the Ex-Manifattura Tabacchi, site of the opening event).

Tempo Reale. Symphony Device staging

Sonic surprises courtesy of Tempo Reale are up first on the program. The association will host two “Symphony Device” shows at the bare-bones Ex-Manifattura Tabacchi on June 10 (5 & 7.30pm; prenotazioni@temporeale.it to book). Using hard disks, scanners, printers, television sets and a variety of other devices, “Symphony Device” presents a full orchestra of objects, absent of any enhancement by human hands.

Basilica of Santa Croce. Courtesy of Tempo Reale

The “sound of silence” will also get time in the spotlight. Tempo Reale will offer a rare opportunity to experience the Basilica of Santa Croce sans crowds, in a hushed visit designed to heighten all the other senses. During these “Percorso Silenzio” visits, scheduled for June 12 (7 & 8.30pm) and June 14 (7 & 8.30pm), participants can process the complex at their own pace, exploring the relationships between the architecture and artworks without the interference of visitor noise. Email prenotazioni@temporeale.it to book.

Virgilio Sieni. Mistica_Ballo 1951

More on the motion front, Palazzo Strozzi will host two stagings of “Mistica_Ballo 1951,” featuring the Virgilio Sieni dance company in direct dialogue with the artworks in the Bill Viola. Electronic Renaissance exhibition (June 14 & 16, 9.30pm, prenotazioni@palazzostrozzi.org or tel. 055.2469600 to book). 79-year-old English choreographer, mime and dancer Lindsay Kemp will also entertain audiences at the Museo Novecento in a production put on by IED Firenze (June 15, 3pm, rsvp@ied.it).

Through Secret Florence's collaboration with cinema festival Lo Schermo dell'Arte, film buffs can catch Cate Blanchett’s acclaimed performance in Manifesto at La Compagnia (June 16, 9pm, info@cinemalacompagnia.it to book). The Julian Rosefeldt movie features the Oscar-winning actress in 13 different roles, reinterpreting the various proclamations made by major artists of the 20th century.

All Secret Florence events offer free entry (with required reservations) and are open to the public. For the full program, see the Estate Fiorentina website.

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